New Survey Shows Burnout Still a Concern for Physicians
August 13, 2019
A new survey from health care market research firm InCrowd found that 79 percent of primary care physicians (PCP) have experienced symptoms of burnout, compared to 68 percent among all the physicians surveyed.
Previous studies reported a drop in physician burnout with percentages as high as 54 percent during 2011 which saw a slight decrease to 43 percent in 2017. Despite the decrease, the report warned that physicians remain at increased risk for burnout relative to workers in other fields.
The more recent survey findings breakdown various areas of concern when speaking of PCP burnout, including the trend of younger physicians (those in their 30s and 40s) to be among the largest group (74%) of PCPs reporting symptoms of burnout. Over 30 percent said they would not recommend a career in medicine to family members or friends.
Physician burnout not only carries with it negative clinical and organizational outcomes, but there also is a serious economic cost. Estimated PCP burnout costs are approximately $4.6 billion a year due to turnover rates and reduced clinical hours.
The PCPs surveyed by InCrowd noted that physician offices are helping to reduce burnout by assisting with workflow and scheduling improvements, as well as supporting wellness. Respondents noted that additional resource to alleviate burnout include increased support staffing, mandatory vacation time, and lower patient volumes.
In Pennsylvania, HAP has been advocating for solutions to address contributors to physician burnout, including:
HAP will continue its legislative, policy, and regulatory advocacy efforts to address the root causes—as well as the impacts—of physician burnout.
For more information, contact Laura Stevens Kent, HAP’s vice president, federal legislative advocacy, or Stephanie Watkins, HAP’s vice president, state legislative advocacy.